Existence and Contingency: A Note

David Wiggins 


Timothy Williamson offers a proof of the counterintuitive claim that, if an object exists, then it exists necessarily. David Wiggins argues that this result reveals the philosophical disadvantage of a first level (or ‘ticking over’) view of the very ‘exists’ and the advantage of the second level account offered by Frege and Russell. The author seeks to show how, using an idea of G. Evans but without the use of the resources of ‘free logic’, all occurrences of ‘exist’, including its occurrence in true, negative existential, singular statements, can be accommodated to the Frege–Russell view and accorded the intuitively required modal status.